Billionaire maverick Elon Musk has been around for decades and has many great years. 2023 was another such year for him.
2023 was the first year under which Twitter was completely with Musk. While every layoff is tragic, it is amazing how he managed to get the same work done with just 20% of the employees. Till 2022, Twitter was nothing but a Marxist mouthpiece favouring only Left-wing ideologues, celebrities and intellectuals. The moderation generally went only one way. That way Musk has tried his best to veer the platform to the centre and now there is an actual diversity of thought. While most of Silicon Valley, Musk included, are Democrats and rarely go after that party, Musk broke free from the herd.
One thing about Twitter was that it had been quite static since the beginning. The 140-character count going up to 280 was probably the biggest headline. But Musk rebranded it to X and is trying to make it a super app. If you are tired of your followers, then you can switch to “For you” and customize it the way you want. The blue tick was democratized from the earlier closed, elitist and shady methodology. Other colours were introduced. X users also were given the option to monetize their content. Twitter Spaces also took off.
When it comes to Tesla, the unique Cybertruck was launched. Musk said it was inspired by both James Bond and Blade Runner. In Q1, Model Y went past the Toyota Corolla as being a global best-seller. V4 charging stations with longer charging cables were rolled out. The number of Superchargers worldwide crossed 50,000. Tesla Energy also created a record adding 3.9 GWh in a quarter (Q1).
When it comes to SpaceX, Starship became “the largest and most powerful rocket ever flown”. The company touched a valuation of $180 billion. While Musk was one of the founders of OpenAI, not satisfied with the way it was going, he founded xAI. Taking on ChatGPT, X launched the Gen AI chatbot Grok, advertised to have a sense of humour. Talking of Neuralink, in 2023 the company got permission for human trials.
Personally, despite buying Twitter for $44 billion saw his personal wealth cross a quarter of a trillion dollars again.